The abdominal muscles are considered to be one of the most difficult and challenging muscles to tone and are the common problem areas by many exercise beginners. Luckily, there are several kinds of ab exercises that you can choose from. Each routine may or may not make use of exercise equipment and can vary in intensity. So if you are interested, here are a few of the most popular ab exercises that you can incorporate into your exercise routine today.
1. The Bicycle Crunch Exercise
This routine is one of the best and the most effective ab exercises that anyone can do. But remember, it is very important that they are performed correctly to prevent injuries and strains. First, lie with your back on the floor. Put your hands at the back of your head for support and raise your knees 45 degrees up. Start doing the bicycle pedaling motion, alternately touching your right knee to your left elbow and your left knee to your right elbow. Remember to breathe evenly throughout the exercise.
2. The Vertical Knee Raise
Also known as the Captain’s Chair exercise, this routine works on the rectus abdominus and the internal and external oblique muscles. However, you need to have a vertical knee raise equipment to be able to perform this routine. Start out by dangling your legs with your arms supporting the weight of your body. Slowly raise your knees up to your chest and lower it down to starting position. Always do the entire routine in a regulated and controlled motion for maximum burn.
3. Single Leg Bridge Exercise
This is one of the few routine that work specifically on the gluteus or the butt muscles and the hamstrings. First, lie flat on your back with your hands at the sides. Bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor. Slowly raise your rear and create a straight line from shoulder to knee. Feel the abdominal and back muscles tighten. Hold for a few seconds before getting back to your starting position.
4. Ab Crunches on an Exercise Ball
This routine can also target the rectus abdominus and the internal and external obliques. To start off, sit on the exercise ball with your feet flat on the floor. Let the ball roll back a few feet, just enough until your torso is positioned parallel to the floor. Do the usual crunches by raising your torso 45 degrees up. You can increase the level of difficulty by moving your feet closer together as you do the routine.
5. Vertical Leg Crunch
This is perhaps one of the most challenging of all ab exercises. Lie flat on the floor with your legs raised 90 degrees up from your body and knees slightly bent. Put your hands at the back of your head and slowly raise your torso up until your shoulders leave the floor. Make sure that you do not pull on your neck and keep your chin up at all times. Repeat 12-16 times.
So there you have it: the most effective ab exercises that you can do. Pick one and once you start the routine, make sure that you stick to it as scheduled to get the best results.